And she just got home. So now, she's plopped down on the couch, Snuggie in lap, and she's ready. I'm ready. We're ready.
Last week, it was brutal. The contestants survived the first cuts... then group night... then solo performances... and now we are down to about 60... but it gets better. They are headed to Vegas, and have 24 hours to learn and perform a song from The Beatles catalog.
And we will see the Top 24. And I know for a fact of one heavy favorite from early on that gets the ax during the final cuts. And J-Lo breaks down when telling them they didn't make it.
From 327 to 61 people... and now, let's work on getting to 24. They are dividing up into duos and trios, and are performing at the stage of "Beatles: Love" Cirque de Soleil. Vocal coach Peggy Blu tells them "If you are still reading lyrics by now, you are in trouble, because this is a gig."
The pressure of perfection begins to take its toll on the contestants, and Lauren Alaina bursts into tears. We then get a taste of Peggy Blu again, as Seacrusty calls her "The vocal coach from HELL!" and she seems like it, as she tears into Thia Megia and some chick named Melinda that I don't know if we've seen.
And we get the quick montage of those who say... "I've never heard a Beatles song..." Like, seriously? I just paused it, looked at The Lovely Steph Leann and said, "Okay, let's be clear... Lorelei Addison and Campbell Isaiah WILL hear The Beatles. Maybe they won't care for them, and that's fine, but I'm not having a 20 year old kid telling American 'I've never heard a Beatles song'. Not my kids, no ma'am. Even if we have a black or Chinese kid!"
She responds, "Oh, I know, they will know The Beatles. They will know them all..." and we list artists like The Carpenters, Herman's Hermits, Hootie, Sheryl Crow, Lady Antebellum and more, artists that our kids will know. This is just good parenting.
So, the 61 will take the stage in twos and threes, and they will either go on or they won't. First up, James Durban and Stefano Langone doing "Get Back". They sound pretty good, kicking the show off right, with James doing the crazy wail. Steven Tyler liked it, Randy the Dawg liked it and J-Lo smiles too.
Pia Toscano and another chick we barely know are up next, doing "Can't Buy Me Love". Karen Rodriguez is the other chick, by the way. Not bad, good harmony, and J-Lo says, "You two really get it!" Steven Tyler thought it took off. Randy the Dawg says it was very nice.
Jacob Lusk, Haley Reinhart and Nambia Adaniadapopopo are doing a trio, singing "The Long and Winding Road." All three sound pretty good, with Jacob doing what is becoming his signature runs and soul singing. Once again, we have a pretty good performance. J-Lo loved it. Steven Tyler said it was stupendous. Randy the Dawg tells them to go for it! Jacob responds that he tried to show restraint, not "wanting to take it to Ebenezer Baptist, y'all..."
Seacrusty announces three more, and The Lovely Steph Leann says, "Who? That chick in the middle? Never seen her, ever..." They are doing "I Saw Her Standing There". Random thought--the Tiffany version was my favorite song for like, a month or two in 1988. Just sayin'. Randy the Dawg really liked the group, J-Lo just liked it and Steven Tyler thought they all nailed it. I'm guessing these are three black people who had never heard an Aerosmith song until Idol started.
Another duo is doing "Blackbird", another one of my top The Beatles songs. Kendra Something and Paul McDonald, both from Nashville, sound great. He's got a cool voice, and The Lovely Steph Leann shouts, "That was awesome!" J-Lo loved it. Steven Tyler thought it was beautiful, and Randy the Dawg liked the harmonies.
Another duo sings "Help", and another sings "Ticket to Ride" and still another sings "With a Little Help (from my friends)". And now we cut to The Overdramatic Ashley Sullivan. I'm so tired of this chick. Even if she makes the Top 24, she will fall apart every week... she cannot handle this. Plus, she's really annoying.
And we see The Overdramatic Ashley Sullivan using this trip to Vegas, this Idol audition, for something else... she and her boo head to a Vegas Chapel and get married. No joke. She's just... just... eeww. She's so Waffle Housey Waitressy looking. So The Overdramatic Ashley Sullivan becomes The Overdramatic Ashley SomethingElse. I would like her to become the The Gone Ashley Whatever.
Hell's Vocal Coach Peggy Blu sees her kids come on stage now. Melinda Something and Thia Megia, doing "Here Comes the Sun". Hell's Vocal Coach Peggy Blu whispers to the camera, "Oh Lord..." Randy the Dawg praises Thia, but not Melinda. J-Lo follows suit. Steven Tyler does as well.
Now, up is The Overdramatic Ashley Blahblah and Sophia Yaddayadda, doing "We Can Work It Out". The camera cuts to the judges quickly, and their faces tell the story. Not good. J-Lo sits stone faced, and this is going to be bad, ending with an Ashley breakdown. Steven Tyler says it wasn't the best performance from either one. Randy the Dawg concurs, and J-Lo just says, "I'm sorry."
Lauren Alaina, Denise Jackson and Deep Voiced Scotty have had a disastrous rehearsal, and had to pick a different song. They are doing "Goodbye/Hello". I thought it was going to be a trainwreck, and it turns out to be pretty good. Not the best vocals I've ever heard, but it is a fun take on the song. Randy the Dawg looks perplexed. J-Lo says it sounds good when they were in harmony. Steven Tyler said the song didn't fit them, but recognized the attempt. Randy the Dawg said it was funny but not perfect.
Carson Higgins and Caleb Howley teamed up, and so did Funky Chris Medina and Casey Abrams... the former didn't do so great, the latter did pretty doggone good. The Traitorous Jordon Dorsey, Robbie Rosen and Aaron Sanders close out this part of the Idol auditions with "Got To Get You Into My Life". And it was pretty good. Randy the Dawg liked it well enough, J-Lo liked it, and Steven Tyler liked it.
Now the preformances are over. The stage is clear. And now, 61 people will be whittled down. Names will be called... Thia... Deep Voiced Scotty... The Turncoat Jordon... Robbie Rosen... Ashton... Lauren Alaina... they all step forward. The ones who stepped forward go through. So did 33 more. And who did we lose? Carson Higgins didn't make it. Denise Jackson didn't make it. The Overdramatic Ashley didn't make it. Thank you judges.
Now we are down to 40, and they return back to Los Angeles to "Sing for their lives..." as Seacrusty puts it. The first steps were all smiles. The next step was Hollywood. Then Vegas... and now back to LA, they have to walk whats being called The Green Mile, in a hangar. Each of the 40 remaining contestants sing one more song, and the next day, the judges call them one by one to tell them that yes, they are in the Top 24--meaning they will get voted on by America from here on out--or they are done with Idol--meaning their journey stops here.
Each one walks the long walk to the judges, and first up is Naboo Amabagdodopoopoo. She sits in tears while the judges talk to her. Steven Tyler tells her she has made it, so Nababa becomes the first chick to make it. I kinda knew she would.
Holly Cavanaugh is up now (Except for like, five or six people, I have no idea who is even left in the show...). Originally, Randy the Dawg told her no, but J-Lo and Steven Tyler put her through. She begins the long walk to the judges platform to find her fate. On the small circular platform are three chairs with the judges on one side, and five or six feet away, a single chair facing them. Brutal. Holly didn't make it. J-Lo tells her that she, J-Lo, was outvoted, and that she wanted to put Holly through, but Steven Tyler and Randy the Dawg say no. They say she's 17, and that she is talented enough to come back next year and contend for the whole thing.
|Clint Jun "Junbug" Gamboa|
I can see that... he's got a great voice, but I think the who Jacee thing will come back to bite him. And maybe it didn't go down completely like it was portrayed, but Idol portrayed him to be the bad, bad guy, and I wonder if America will forget that. I don't think so.
Now, its Haley Reinhart making the long Green Mile walk to either be executed or recieve a stay of said execution. Steven Tyler tells her she has made it, and thats two chicks down.
Sixteen year old Deandre Brackensick doesn't make it... and yes, I typed that sentence before he even made it to the Judges Platform. I knew he wouldn't make it. He's got Kenny G hair. Random observation.
Paul McDonald is walking up, and though we haven't seen a ton of him so far, he's got a distinctive voice that I hope will make it through. He even sang an original song on his final performance, and now he heads to the Judges Platform. If he makes it through, I can totally see a David Cook and/or Kris Allen type transformation. And he makes it through, taking up the 2nd dudes spot.
Ashton Jones walks up... and I really like her. She even did Whitney on her final performance, and if you can do Whitney well, I'm all yours. J-Lo builds her up, calling her consistant, but reminds her of those bad moments too. And she makes it! Three girls down, two guys down, 19 spots left.
Funky Chris Medina, one of my favorite nicknames in all of Idol's seasons, walks slowly up the walkway. And I know what's coming... I know he doesn't make it. And The Lovely Steph Leann is going to come close to tears, as J-Lo will most certainly do in just a moment. Remember, he's the guy who's sticking by and caring for his girlfriend who had a terrible accident, leaving her needing constant care. And the tears come for J-Lo as she tells him he doesn't make it. Funky Chris Medina goes home. J-Lo wipes a tear and says, "I didn't want tell him no. I don't want to do this anymore." Randy the Dawg and Steven Tyler actually have to console her.
Seacrusty gives Funky Chris Medina a big hug, as does several of the contestants. I really liked him, and I'm genuinely sad to see him leave.
The Lovely Steph Leann wipes a tear away.
So here's the running count...
The chicks... Haley Reinhart... Ashton Jones... Nobobo Agrabahpo...
The dudes... Paul McDonald... Clint Junbug
Tomorrow Night... we finish the Top 24!